The Big News: Johnny Gargano will challenge for Aleister Black's NXT Championship next week.
The Medium News: In her first official NXT TV match since being signed, Candice LeRae submitted Zelina Vega, who was wrestling in what might have been her last match in NXT.
The Little Beaver-sized News: Lars Sullivan sent Killian Dain to SmackDown with a loss in their no disqualification match.
The show began with a graphic honoring the memory of Bruno Sammartino, a man who, in my opinion, is the greatest champion in WWE history. May he rest in peace.
At Full Sail, the episode kicked off with Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae coming to the ring. This is Gargano's first appearance since getting his job back by beating Tommaso Ciampa in a legit five-star match at TakeOver: New Orleans. The fans were thrilled to see him back, as Gargano got goose bumps from the reaction he received.
Going into TakeOver, he dreamt of returning to NXT. For too long he was defined by Tommaso Ciampa, his former best friend who broke his heart, cost him the NXT Championship, and stole his career. Gargano couldn't say his name or get past him for the longest time, but after the most intense 37 minutes he's ever spent in a professional wrestling ring, he has his life back and is back where he belongs.
He thanked the fans for always having his back and thanked LeRae for being with him these last few months. He said he loved her so much. He then announced that they have one last piece of unfinished business. LeRae took the mic and said she'll be handling it tonight when she goes one-on-one with Zelina Vega. Gargano said if Andrade “Cien” Almas tries to get involved, he'll drop Almas like his name was “Tommaso Ciampa.”
After they get past Almas & Vega tonight, Gargano said he will be Aleister Black's first challenger, which the fans approved of.
This segment actually broke from tradition. Normally after an NXT title change, the next taped show opens with the new champion coming to the ring for a promo. The only exception was after Sami Zayn won the belt due to his storyline injury by Kevin Owens.
Killian Dain did a backstage promo saying he's going to take everything from Lars Sullivan. He'll have no backup and will bring the chaos alone.
Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson gave a shoutout to Nigel McGuinness, who is home with his significant other and their newborn baby.
Ricochet defeated Fabian Aichner
Ricochet had a neat laser light show for his entrance for his first official match on an episode of NXT TV. Aichner was compared to Bruno Sammartino, which was a weird coincidence since the commentary is pre-taped.
Aichner did look good here -- and it wasn't just because he was in with one of the best. He sells pretty well and his offense looks good. However, in spite of that, this match was all about Ricochet. He used a 619, a springboard European uppercut, and a standing Shooting Star Press that Aichner kicked out of.
The finish saw Aichner go for a superplex, but Ricochet knocked him off the top rope and hit the 630 for the pin.
Kayla Braxton asked Ricochet what it was like to debut here at Full Sail. He said it felt great to be in a place where a lot of WWE wrestlers made their names, referencing Bayley, Sami Zayn, and Seth Rollins. However, it is now his turn. He came to NXT to prove that there is one and only and that's him.
An EC3 video package aired.
Lars Sullivan built up his no DQ match against Killian Dain tonight.
War Raiders defeated KC & Chris
The former ROH and IWGP Tag Team Champions debuted last week by destroying both Heavy Machinery and Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli. KC & Chris are the 2018 version of Deuce & Domino. Bet you didn't think you needed that, did you?
Anyway, the greasers stood no chance and their only offense (a chop) was completely no sold. Hanson did a cartwheel when one of them came off the ropes, which popped the crowd. One was hit with a double-team pop-up powerslam and the other was pinned after Fallout.
Shayna Baszler arrived late at a woman's team meeting earlier this week, declaring she is going to set the rules. She took it over, ripping down the tape over Ember Moon's locker and taking it over. Dakota Kai walked out instead of listening to Baszler's diatribe where she said this was now her locker room.
Kona Reeves is re-debuting, this time with a push.
Earlier today, Pete Dunne arrived at the Performance Center and said he would be back in a couple of weeks to rip Roderick Strong's head off.
Lars Sullivan defeated Killian Dain in a no DQ match
These two behemoths squared off in a match two weeks ago that ended when EC3, Ricochet, Adam Cole, and Velveteen Dream all just ran to the ring to stare at each other. Dusty Rhodes would have loved to commentate this match just to holler about the clubbering going on.
Dain went for a suicide dive and, before I could make a sarcastic comment about Sullivan catching him like he did to two of his much smaller foes at TakeOver, Sullivan caught him. Sullivan grabbed him out of mid-air and rammed him into the ring post. Sullivan further showed off his strength with a pair of suplexes, one, the normal kind, outside the ring and one, a German, inside the ring. Sullivan hit his diving headbutt for a two count. He smashed Dain's nose, with Dain wearing the crimson...mustache.
Dain started his comeback when Sullivan was choking him with a chair. Dain hit the Wasteland, a senton, and a Vader Bomb, but was frustrated when Sullivan didn't stay down. Sullivan came back and put a chair across Dain before flying off with a diving headbutt. Unfortunately Dain moved out of the way, so Sullivan crashed into the chair.
A table was set up in the corner and Dain went for The Divide twice. Sullivan caught him once and then it actually worked as they went through the table. Dain set Sullivan up for the Van Terminator at this point.
Stop and re-read that sentence. 350-ish pound Killian Dain went up top to attempt a Van Terminator. Unfortunately for everyone, Sullivan cut him off before he could attempt it and pinned the SmackDown-bound Dain with a Freak Accident on a chair.
Undisputed Era were wandering around backstage and took photos with all their championship gold. They will be in Full Sail live next week.
Also, Adam Cole will defend the NXT North American Championship on TV for the first time ever against Oney Lorcan.
Candice LeRae defeated Zelina Vega
This was the acknowledged in-ring NXT TV debut for both. However, both have done jobs in the past before being signed or pushed and have wrestled on house shows. The female referee, Jessika Carr, towered over both competitors.
Almas interfered 30 seconds into the match to distract LeRae, so Gargano ran down to glare at the former champion. This was short, but fine. Vega used the double knees in the corner, but LeRae got out of the hammerlock DDT and hit a missile dropkick for a near fall. LeRae locked on the Gargano Escape. Almas ran in, but Gargano cut him off and put Almas in the Gargano Escape. Both tapped and LeRae got the win.
After the match, Gargano officially challenged Black for the NXT Championship. Black came out on the stage and accepted the challenge for next week.
Next week, it's Black vs. Gargano for the NXT Championship! Until then, thank you for reading and remember to say your vitamins and take your prayers.